• What JGIG Is:

    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

    To borrow from a Forest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

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  • Broken Links – UGH

    Do you find it frustrating when you're directed to a link that does not exist? Me too! My apologies for any broken links you may find here.

    JGIG occasionally links to to sites that sometimes move or remove content, forums that periodically cull threads, sites/posters that appear to 'scrub' content from their sites (or YouTube posts, pdf files, etc.) when that content receives negative attention, and others that over time simply cease to exist.

    Please let me know via the 'Contact JGIG' drop-down menu item under the 'About' tab at the top of this page if you come across a link that is broken so that I can try to repair or remove it. Please include the name of the post/article where you found the broken link as well as the link itself. You may be able to find content specified by doing a search and viewing a relocated or cached page/post/video.

    Thanks,
    - JGIG

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Testimonies

This page is dedicated to testimonies of those who have once been a part of the Hebrew Roots Movement / Messianic Movement, but by the Grace of God have come to understand their freedom in Christ, rooted and established in love.

If you have a testimony you’d like to share about coming out of the Hebrew Roots Movement (or variation of the HRM), please email me at joyfullygrowingingrace@gmail dot com.

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If you’re someone in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect questioning what you believe, a clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the other testimonies on the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.  May God guide and bless you as you seek His Truth.

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4 Responses

  1. I have to tell you of the joy I have found IN my newly, almost eight years ago now, found Hebrew Roots. I have not left my love of Yeshua and have not lost my freedom. In fact, I have never been more free than in my understanding of the Torah walk of faith in Messiah. Our mutual Messiah was, after all, a Torah observant Hebrew Himself. He never nailed Torah to a tree, but the curse of the law- death. Prior to Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross, only unintentional sin was made atonement for by sacrifice. Intentional sin was punishable by death. Yeshua took the sting of death, being able to “atone” for all sin, even intentional sins. If Yeshua was 100% Torah observant in his earthly walk, and if we as disciples are attempting to become like our master, why would we not also want to walk in the ways of Torah? I am not advocating any extra biblical practices of Judiaism, just the bible all the way. Yeshua was the One who gave Moshe the Torah on Sinai, why would He change His mind? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. I believe some have misunderstood the real walk of the bible believing followers of Yeshua. Hope I haven’t offended and that you will feel free to return any comments to me. Nothing canned, just from your heart. In Him, Shalom.

  2. Hi Carolyn –

    Living life in a Torah-observant fashion is certainly your choice. I don’t take issue with that in the spirit of Romans 14.

    The issue I have with the “Hebrew Roots Movement” is the false doctrine that permeates the movement coupled with the ascertion that all believers are under the Law.

    You wrote:

    Our mutual Messiah was, after all, a Torah observant Hebrew Himself. He never nailed Torah to a tree, but the curse of the law- death. Prior to Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross, only unintentional sin was made atonement for by sacrifice. Intentional sin was punishable by death. Yeshua took the sting of death, being able to “atone” for all sin, even intentional sins.

    Two things about that –
    1) You can’t contextually back up the statement that Jesus didn’t abolish the Law – “nail Torah to a tree” as you put it (see Ephesians 2).
    2) Sin, intentional or not, is not categorized in Scripture. Sin is sin . . . is sin. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And Jesus didn’t just atone for sin . . . He erased it! (Isaiah 53:11, Phil. 3:19)

    You wrote:
    If Yeshua was 100% Torah observant in his earthly walk, and if we as disciples are attempting to become like our master, why would we not also want to walk in the ways of Torah? I am not advocating any extra biblical practices of Judiaism, just the bible all the way. Yeshua was the One who gave Moshe the Torah on Sinai, why would He change His mind?

    Jesus observed Torah before the Cross. It is not necessary to observe Torah under the New Covenant established by Jesus (God in the flesh). Did God change His mind? No . . . He let us know the New Covenant was coming in Jeremiah 31 =o). And the New Covenant fulfills the promise given in Genesis at the Fall.

    You wrote:
    I believe some have misunderstood the real walk of the bible believing followers of Yeshua.

    I don’t misunderstand your walk, I believe it to be in error according to the whole of Scripture. I don’t mean to sound harsh . . . it’s not my intent. It’s just that Scripture is abundantly clear in the proper place of the Law of Moses in relation to the Law of Christ. As for living a Torah obedient life – it is simply not possible. Setting aside our inherent inability to do it anyway, there are some practical impossibilities when it comes to “keeping the Law” after the completed work of Christ at the Cross. Let me ask you a few questions:

    I understand that you believe that Jesus was the sacrifice for sin, but do you offer sacrifices for purification and ceremonial purposes as instructed by Torah? If so, where did you find a Priest and a Temple in which to offer those sacrifices? Do the males in your household journey to Jerusalem 3 times per year for their required attendance at the “pilgrimage” Feasts? Are you very careful to keep the dietary and slaughtering rules for the meats that you eat? Are you sure that no unclean meat has ever touched your utensils, pots, pans, and stove? Do you stone the believers that you know who don’t keep the Sabbath? I could of course go on, but I think I’ve made the point.

    And I get that you don’t view the Law as a means for justification – you merely seek to honor God and His commandments. But in His Word He says things like, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10), and “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.'” (Galatians 3:10) How is that honoring to God, to take the Law that He gave as a whole and pick and choose the things that are “do-able” and set the rest aside? It seems to me to be more of a mockery of His provision of the New Covenant, and also a mockery of His gift of the simplicity of the Gospel – purchased by His suffering and blood.

    Jesus said love God, love others, make disciples. If you do those things, you have “done” the Law. Simple.

    Blessings and prayers,
    – JGIG

  3. David Niles Jr December 1 at 7:23pm
    Mike,
    My journey out of the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Sabbatarian Movement.

    I became a Christian about 9 yrs ago. I was saved in a charismatic church not too far from where I lived at the time (Georgia). It was a miricle that I became a Christian; I couldn”t stand Christians, and laughed at people when they tried to share there faith with me. After I got saved I moved to Texas where I was studying the Bible like crazy, reading it day and night, trying understand what happened to me. I was reading the Book of Romans and had read where Yeshua (Jesus) was Jewish. I”ve probably read that verse a hundred times, but it didn”t hit me until then. WOW, Jesus was Jewish, he went to the synagugue, read from the Torah, ate His Last Supper, or Passover, with His disciples. I was in awe, and wanted to learn more about Jesus jewishness. I was good friends with an older Christian woman, and was telling all that I had read in my studies in the Book of Romans. I told her I wanted to go to a synagugue, to see how Jewish people worship. She said there was a messianic congregation in town, and that would be a good place to start. So, I started going to some of the services there. While I was there I heard from different people how the traditional Christian holidays (Easter, Christmas) were in fact pagan!! And that if Christians celebrated them, it was an abomination to God. I thought to myself “I don”t want to dishonor God” so I started researching the orgins of the Easter and Christmas. I went to my local library and read everything I could on the subjects, and was convinced I could no longer celebrate them. I stopped celebrating the traditional holidays, and was told that Christians had to “keep the feasts”, the Feasts of the Lord found in Lev 23. I started keeping the Feasts. Then the issue of Sunday versus Saturday came up; I was told by various people within the messianic congregation that Saturday was the correct day, not Sunday. I researched at the public libraray where the early church meet on Saturday, and I started worshippng on Saturday. So, I started reading materials by the Seventh day Adventists, and Garner Ted Armstrong and the Sabbatarians. Then I was told that eating ham was wrong, and should eat only clean meats (found in Lev 11), and stopped eating ham, and ham products, immediatly. I thought that I had arrived, I knew what I was doing was right, and that those who didn”t beleive like me were wrong. I unfortunatly was boastful and proud, and would convince others than they too should do as is I did.

    But, thru my pride I had alot of sin in my life; anger, lust, bitterness, unforgiveness that had crept in and I hadn”t repented of. I felt I had the truth, and that those who didn”t “keep the law” were were wrong.

    I had started going to the various meetings, and would hear statemenst like “I don”t know who this “jesus” is, but know who Yeshua is”. Some people started refering to Jesus as “Yahshua”, and called “Yahweh”, and wouldn”t say “Lord” “God” or “Jesus”, fearing that if they did, they were cursing at God.

    I started to slowly have doubts about the theology of the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Sabbatarian movement. A good friend said he had a book that he wanted to give me. My friend gave me a book called “Messianic Judaism is not Christianity; A Loving Call to Unity” by Stan Telchin. In the book, Stan Telchin discuss problems with the Messianic movement, and its inefficiantcy in sharing Yeshua with the Jewish people. I read the book with an open mind and found Telchin’s arguements to be quite correct. The theology of the Messianic movement was very flawed, and didn”t look at the Bible in its whole context. I also at that time received a copy of Lamplighter magazine; they had done a expose, so to speak, on the Seventh Day Adventist. I read that as well with an open mind, and found that David Reagan was right on his assessment of the SDA. They where in fact a cult, and from sermons/teachings that I received from or what I heard, that anyone who didn”t “keep the Sabbath” had the mark of the beast and were not saved.

    It was then that I started having doubts on whether we as beleivers had to “keep the law”. So, I was constantly praying about it, and was reading the Bible to see what did it have to say on the subject. It was thru the Holy Spirit’s leading that I read Galations, Romans, Hebrews again, and read what The Bible, and not man, had to say. I was shocked when in Galations it says that the Torah/Law was a “tutor/schoolmaster to bring us to Christ”. I then pulled my Strong’s Concordance out and look up that word. The word “tutor is “pedigugue” which in Roman culture it was a role that a slave had, and its only goal was to bring children to school and back (loose paraphrase, sorry).

    It was then that I started to see things in a different light. If we as beleivers are under a New Covenant, then the conditions of the Old Covenant don”t apply in the same context; we are to following Jesus” teachings as way of life and practice; that we have a new way, that Jesus said that the Torah/Law was fullfilled in (a) loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, (b) loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:36-40) the way of the Spirit (Romans 7:6), that we are letter of Christ, the Law written on our hearts (2Cor 3:3), we are under a new covenant; the old covenant is obselete (Heb 8). I saw the Law of God in a whole new light; we are to love God’s Law, for its holy, just, and good. But, our love for the Torah cannot escape the fact that mankind has sinned against God, that ALL have broken the Law, and are found guily of sin, and have to give an account of what we have done (Romans 2-3).
    But, thru Jesus the Messiah, I am set free from sin, and longer under the chains of sin and death. While we do have our flesh to deal with, the Bible says we are to deny ourselves and follow the the great Rabbi from Nazereth, and only then, will we have fullfillment in life.

    I know that God is merciful, and he is starting what only He can finish in me (Phil 1:6). I praise God that he has mercy on me, despite my pride and sin. Looking back, I realize that the LORD had his hand on me the whole time, and was guilding me when I didn”t see the whole picture. I can only thank him for that.

    While I was coming out of Sabbatarian beleifs, I was struggling with guilt. “I would constantly think “Is God mad at me?” and struggled with the idea that I wasn”t keeping the Sabbath, and was sinning against God. It was very strange not to be “keeping the sabbath” after yrs of doing so. It was a blessing in transistioning from cultic, legalistic beleifs to awalk rooted in the Word, and faith in Jesus.

    As of 3yrs ago, I left the Messianic/Hebrew Roots/Sabbatarian beliefs behind, and it was the best thing I ever did!!!!

    In Jesus
    David Niles
    Romans 7:1-6

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